Moving Overview Checklist...
One Month Before Moving
- Fill out change of address order form for post office.
- Fill out an IRS change of address form.
- Make arrangements with moving company or reserve a rental truck.
- Make travel arrangements, if necessary, with airlines, buses, car rental agencies and hotels.
- Transfer memberships in churches, clubs and civic organizations.
- Obtain medical and dental records, x-rays and prescription histories. Ask doctor and dentist for referrals and transfer prescriptions.
- Set up a checking account in your new city.
- Check into the laws and requirements of your new city regarding home-based businesses, professional tests, business licenses and any special laws that might be applicable to you.
- Take inventory of your belongings before they're packed, in the event you need to file an insurance claim later. If possible, take pictures or video tape your belongings. Record serial numbers of electronic equipment.
- Make arrangements for transporting pets.
- Start using up food items, so that there is less left to pack and possibly spoil.
One To Two Weeks Before Moving
- Switch utility services to new address. Inform electric, disposal, water, newspaper, magazine subscription, telephone and cable companies of your move.
- Arrange for help on moving day.
- Confirm travel reservations.
- Reserve elevator if moving from an apartment.
- Have appliances serviced for moving.
- Clean rugs and clothing and have them wrapped for moving.
- Plan ahead for special needs of infants.
- Close bank accounts and have your funds wired to your new bank. Before closing, be sure there are no outstanding checks or automatic payments that haven't been processed.
- Collect valuables from safe-deposit box. Make copies of any important documents before mailing or hand carry them to your new address.
- Check with your insurance agent to ensure you'll be covered through your homeowner's or renter's policy during the move.
- Defrost freezer and refrigerator. Place deodorizer inside to control odors.
- Give a close friend or relative your travel route and schedule so you may be reached if needed.
On Moving Day
- Double check closets, drawers, shelves, attic and garage to be sure they are empty.
- Carry important documents, currency and jewelry yourself, or use registered mail.
- Carry travelers checks for quick, available funds.
After Arriving At New Home
- Renew your driver's license, auto registration and tags.
- Shop around for new insurance policies, especially auto coverage.
- Revise your will and other legal papers to avoid longer probate and higher legal fees.
- Locate the hospitals, police stations, veterinarian and fire stations near your home.
- Keep the following supplies handy for packing: Boxes, marking pen, bubble wrap, newspaper and tissue
- Tape and scissors
- Tape measure
- Use strong boxes and containers that can be secured tightly. Purchase special boxes for dishes, wardrobe and other special items.
- Pack audio-video equipment in their original boxes. Label cables and tighten transit screws. If removing screws, tape them to the objects they are removed from.
- Avoid loading more than 50 pounds into one box.
- Label each box and indicate the following: (a) Which room it should go in (b) Whether it is fragile (c) If it should be loaded last so it will be unloaded first.
- Cushion contents with packing material such as bubble wrap, newspaper or tissue. Save room by using towels and blankets to wrap fragile items.
- Pack books tightly on end in small boxes. If musty smelling, sprinkle talcum powder between the pages and wrap the book before packing. Leave stored for a couple of months to eliminate the smell.
- Have rugs and draperies cleaned before moving and leave them in wrappings for the move.
- Pack medicines in a leakproof container.
- Carry all valuables with you.
- Check with your local U.S. Department of Agriculture for regulations regarding moving plants from one state to another. Many states have restrictions on certain plants to prevent importing bugs or pests that can destroy valuable cash crops.
Following are tips for moving your pets to their new home.
Cats and Dogs
Cats and dogs can be taken in your car. If so, remember to take along the following items:
- A leash for letting your pet out of the car
- Newspaper or sheets to keep your car clean
Animals can get car-sick and will require frequent stops along the way. Also, check ahead to see if the hotel where you are staying allows pets. Depending on the animal's temperament and size, it might be better to have it shipped by air. Be sure to check if your destination has any local requirements or restrictions on animals.
To have your pet shipped by air, make sure someone can meet your pet at the destination airport and take care of it until you arrive. A kennel can do this for you and keep your pet until you have completed your move, if necessary.
If you are flying to your new destination, your cat or dog can ride in the baggage compartment. You may need the following items:
- Health certificate. Obtain this from your veterinarian.
- Pet container. The airline might have a special container available or you can use your own as long as it complies with airline regulations.
- Tranquilizers. Your vet can provide tranquilizers to be given to your pet immediately before going to the airport.
- Your scent. Your pet can be comforted by having a piece of cloth with your scent on it.
Hamsters, birds and other small animals can easily be transported in your car. To help keep the animals calm and quiet, cover cages with a cloth. Also, make sure they have food and water available.
It can be very impractical and risky to move fish. Check with your local pet store for recommendations on moving your specific type of fish.
About Moving Companies...
Consumer complaints against moving companies have been rising. Following are some tips that can help your move go smoothly.
- Get a binding estimate from the moving company. Make sure the amount is written in the contract.
- Inquire about their on-time record and other complaints with the local Better Business Bureau or consumer complaints department.
- Movers are limited by law regarding what they can give you for lost or damaged goods. To cover potential damage, check existing homeowner's or renter's policy.
- Ask about expected gratuities and write into contract.
- Have the contract include a guarantee of how many hours the job will take, allowing an overrun of no more than 10%.
- Be sure all charges are listed on contract.
- Inform the moving company of how many stairs are at your new home.
- Watch loading and unloading and examine all items carefully before signing a receipt.
- Document an inventory of your belongings before you pack.